Mar 22

What to Expect as the new alliances Implement

In just under two weeks, the ocean freight industry will undergo a transformation in the form of shipping alliances. Come April 1st, the song of shipping carriers will come to a halt in their roundabout of musical chairs. THE Alliance, Ocean Alliance, and 2M will set sail with new members. The new formation will look starkly different from the previous alliance groupings. That’s thanks to an unprecedented number of mergers and acquisitions in 2016.

In this post, we’ll look at how the world’s largest shipping lines will reorganize themselves from the current four alliances to three.

New shipping alliances: What to expect?

Previous shipping alliances:

  • 2M Alliance: Maersk and MSC
  • Ocean Three Alliance: CMA CGM, UASC, China Shipping
  • G6 Alliance: NYK Line, OOCL, APL, MOL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM
  • CKYHE Alliance: K Line, COSCO, Hanjin Shipping, Evergreen, Yang Ming

New shipping alliances (we recommend giving the posts dedicated to each individual grouping a read to understand their members and offerings):

Breakdown of THE Alliance:

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.23.46 AM

Breakdown of Ocean Alliance:

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.25.08 AM

In just under two weeks, the ocean freight industry will undergo a transformation in the form of shipping alliances. Come April 1st, the song of shipping carriers will come to a halt in their roundabout of musical chairs. THE Alliance, Ocean Alliance, and 2M will set sail with new members. The new formation will look starkly different from the previous alliance groupings. That’s thanks to an unprecedented number of mergers and acquisitions in 2016.

In this post, we’ll look at how the world’s largest shipping lines will reorganize themselves from the current four alliances to three.

New shipping alliances: What to expect?

Previous shipping alliances:

  • 2M Alliance: Maersk and MSC
  • Ocean Three Alliance: CMA CGM, UASC, China Shipping
  • G6 Alliance: NYK Line, OOCL, APL, MOL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM
  • CKYHE Alliance: K Line, COSCO, Hanjin Shipping, Evergreen, Yang Ming

New shipping alliances (we recommend giving the posts dedicated to each individual grouping a read to understand their members and offerings):

Breakdown of THE Alliance:

Breakdown of Ocean Alliance:

These three alliances represent 77.2% of global container capacity and a whopping 96% of all East-West trades. Ocean Alliance offers the most services, with some 40 loops. THE Alliance follows with 32 services and 2M with 25. Among the changes, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance will run 11 weekly Asia-northern Europe routes. 2M has also increased its services on this route from five to six. That’s mainly to cater to the additional slots under their agreement with HMM and Maersk’s takeover of Hamburg Süd.

According to a recent Drewry report, Ocean Alliance’s gets its lead from its seven Asia-Middle East and -Red Sea services. In comparison, THE Alliance offers only one such service and 2M none. With regards to the Asia-US West Coast routes, Ocean Alliance has 13 services, THE Alliance 11 and 2M only five.

More recently, Hapag-Lloyd and UASC postponed their final merger date as a result of unexpected delays. The merger will now take place at the end of May as opposed to the end of March, which would have been in time for the new alliances reshuffle. However, this is unexpected to affect the start date of THE Alliance. It will set sail on April 1st, 2017 as planned.

Lack of information

For the Ocean Alliance, information regarding actual schedules and what specific vessels will form part of the service is not yet available. According to its brochure, ‘transit times are provided for information and example purpose and are non-contractual’.

For THE Alliance, sailing information is available but limited to a few services. Port and terminal information still may change. The group has yet to release details of vessels and their operations.

According to Alphaliner’s preliminary data, capacity gaps from Hanjin Shipping’s collapse will be filled.Main carriers of the alliances have added new services across the main Asia-Europe and Asia-North America routes.

Effect on ports

The alliance reshuffle will no doubt have an impact on ports. The port of Singapore is set to benefit the most but at the expense of other Asian ports. Of the 29 Asia-Europe services provided by all three groupings, the port of Singapore will attract 34 weekly calls. That’s up from the current 29 calls from 27 services. This is thanks to CMA CGM’s acquisition of APL, which prompted the French carrier to embark on a joint venture with PSA-Singapore for operating its CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal.

This, however, comes at the expense of neighboring Port Kelang, which will have its number of weekly calls reduced from eleven to five, and rival Hong Kong port.

“Hong Kong will be the biggest loser of the rationalization, with only seven weekly calls of northern European loops and three weekly calls of Mediterranean loops, replacing 10 and five calls respectively,”

– Alphaliner

For THE Alliance, Singapore holds the honor of being its only Southeast Asian hub. Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas remains as 2M’s key hub in the area.

On the receiving end, Rotterdam Port will continue to serve as the key port on the European side. Rival Hamburg Port will lose one weekly service from the Ocean Alliance.

Expect delays

Shipping consultant Drewry has warned shippers to expect delays upon the launching of the new alliances. It says that immediate disruption appears “inevitable”, largely due to the lack of port-service confirmation. This has the potential to disrupt everyone involved in the supply chain, including shippers, ports, truckers and railroads.

“For shippers, the lack of clarity on which hub ports are going to be used is not too much of an issue, as it’s fairly invisible to them – but the gateway ports are a much more significant hole in their knowledge.”

– Drewry

Call for preventive measures

US Federal Maritime Commissioner William Doyle has called for alliance safeguards to prevent another supply chain disruption like the one that resulted from Hanjin’s collapse. The South Korean liner’s court receivership application in August sent supply chains into a state of chaos. For fear of vessel seizure, the company ordered container-loaded boats not to dock. From the other side, ports denied entry to Hanjin vessels for fear the company would not pay the corresponding fees.

“All the components of the supply chain – carriers, ports, terminals, labor, forwarders, and shippers t0 need to talk with one voice. Although I firmly believe that if you are going to join an alliance it is the responsibility of all its members to make sure cargo gets to where it’s going.

– FMC Chief William Doyle

Emergency fund set up

Following this, THE Alliance has unveiled an emergency fund that they will tap into in the event of a bankruptcy. The grouping will use money from this fund to provide a  smooth operational flow should a member falter. More specifically, it protects customers’ cargo and ensures that it reaches its port of destination with no hiccups. 

“After what happened with Hanjin, any safeguards is a good idea. No matter what one might think of alliances, they do seem a means to an end right now for the industry to hopefully stabilize and revert to a healthier and more balanced level for the sake of everyone.”

– Carlos Hernández, Co-Founder, iContainers

Ocean Alliance, on the other hand, has said that it does not require an emergency fund as it claims that all its members are financially strong. Of its members, Evergreen is the only member yet to release their financial results. But the remaining have posted profit losses for 2016.

2016 formed a precedence in the shipping industry in terms of its mergers, acquisitions, and liners’ movements in general. We witnessed the downfall of Hanjin, the mergers of Japanese lines and CMA CGM’s acquisition of APL – to name a few. It’s hard to decide what the biggest shipping story of 2016 was. But all have undoubtedly left a mark on the way the new shipping alliances have shaped their services.

These three alliances represent 77.2% of global container capacity and a whopping 96% of all East-West trades. Ocean Alliance offers the most services, with some 40 loops. THE Alliance follows with 32 services and 2M with 25. Among the changes, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance will run 11 weekly Asia-northern Europe routes. 2M has also increased its services on this route from five to six. That’s mainly to cater to the additional slots under their agreement with HMM and Maersk’s takeover of Hamburg Süd.

According to a recent Drewry report, Ocean Alliance’s gets its lead from its seven Asia-Middle East and -Red Sea services. In comparison, THE Alliance offers only one such service and 2M none. With regards to the Asia-US West Coast routes, Ocean Alliance has 13 services, THE Alliance 11 and 2M only five.

More recently, Hapag-Lloyd and UASC postponed their final merger date as a result of unexpected delays. The merger will now take place at the end of May as opposed to the end of March, which would have been in time for the new alliances reshuffle. However, this is unexpected to affect the start date of THE Alliance. It will set sail on April 1st, 2017 as planned.

Lack of information

For the Ocean Alliance, information regarding actual schedules and what specific vessels will form part of the service is not yet available. According to its brochure, ‘transit times are provided for information and example purpose and are non-contractual’.

For THE Alliance, sailing information is available but limited to a few services. Port and terminal information still may change. The group has yet to release details of vessels and their operations.

According to Alphaliner’s preliminary data, capacity gaps from Hanjin Shipping’s collapse will be filled.Main carriers of the alliances have added new services across the main Asia-Europe and Asia-North America routes.

Effect on ports

The alliance reshuffle will no doubt have an impact on ports. The port of Singapore is set to benefit the most but at the expense of other Asian ports. Of the 29 Asia-Europe services provided by all three groupings, the port of Singapore will attract 34 weekly calls. That’s up from the current 29 calls from 27 services. This is thanks to CMA CGM’s acquisition of APL, which prompted the French carrier to embark on a joint venture with PSA-Singapore for operating its CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal.

This, however, comes at the expense of neighboring Port Kelang, which will have its number of weekly calls reduced from eleven to five, and rival Hong Kong port.

“Hong Kong will be the biggest loser of the rationalization, with only seven weekly calls of northern European loops and three weekly calls of Mediterranean loops, replacing 10 and five calls respectively,”

– Alphaliner

For THE Alliance, Singapore holds the honor of being its only Southeast Asian hub. Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas remains as 2M’s key hub in the area.

On the receiving end, Rotterdam Port will continue to serve as the key port on the European side. Rival Hamburg Port will lose one weekly service from the Ocean Alliance.

Expect delays

Shipping consultant Drewry has warned shippers to expect delays upon the launching of the new alliances. It says that immediate disruption appears “inevitable”, largely due to the lack of port-service confirmation. This has the potential to disrupt everyone involved in the supply chain, including shippers, ports, truckers and railroads.

“For shippers, the lack of clarity on which hub ports are going to be used is not too much of an issue, as it’s fairly invisible to them – but the gateway ports are a much more significant hole in their knowledge.”

– Drewry

Call for preventive measures

US Federal Maritime Commissioner William Doyle has called for alliance safeguards to prevent another supply chain disruption like the one that resulted from Hanjin’s collapse. The South Korean liner’s court receivership application in August sent supply chains into a state of chaos. For fear of vessel seizure, the company ordered container-loaded boats not to dock. From the other side, ports denied entry to Hanjin vessels for fear the company would not pay the corresponding fees.

“All the components of the supply chain – carriers, ports, terminals, labor, forwarders, and shippers t0 need to talk with one voice. Although I firmly believe that if you are going to join an alliance it is the responsibility of all its members to make sure cargo gets to where it’s going.

– FMC Chief William Doyle

Emergency fund set up

Following this, THE Alliance has unveiled an emergency fund that they will tap into in the event of a bankruptcy. The grouping will use money from this fund to provide a  smooth operational flow should a member falter. More specifically, it protects customers’ cargo and ensures that it reaches its port of destination with no hiccups. 

“After what happened with Hanjin, any safeguards is a good idea. No matter what one might think of alliances, they do seem a means to an end right now for the industry to hopefully stabilize and revert to a healthier and more balanced level for the sake of everyone.”

– Carlos Hernández, Co-Founder, iContainers

Ocean Alliance, on the other hand, has said that it does not require an emergency fund as it claims that all its members are financially strong. Of its members, Evergreen is the only member yet to release their financial results. But the remaining have posted profit losses for 2016.

2016 formed a precedence in the shipping industry in terms of its mergers, acquisitions, and liners’ movements in general. We witnessed the downfall of Hanjin, the mergers of Japanese lines and CMA CGM’s acquisition of APL – to name a few. It’s hard to decide what the biggest shipping story of 2016 was. But all have undoubtedly left a mark on the way the new shipping alliances have shaped their services.

(article is from iContainers Blog)

Jan 04

1st Quarter 2017 Ocean Import Rate Update

JOC.com

There is little expectation that the solid increase in freight rates that built through December and into the new year will last as container shipping’s weak fundamentals reassert themselves in the slack post-Chinese New Year period.

Asia-Europe spot freight rates reached their highest level since July 1 in the final week of December, continuing a steady increase that began late in the first quarter. The year-end rate rise was even more dramatic on the Asia-US East Coast route, which hit its highest level of the year on Dec. 30, passing the $3,000 per 40-foot-equivalent unit mark in the process. Rates are updated weekly at JOC.com’s Market Data Hub.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-5-37-30-pm

Sanne Manders, chief operating officer of Flexport, told JOC.com that shipping lines were using the uncertainty in the market to raise rates, and that a shipper negotiating a contract right now would be paying 20 to 25 percent more than last year.

“There was a perfect storm in the last five months with Hanjin Shipping’s failure and the peak season coming at the same time, which allowed the shipping lines to bring up the rates,” he said. “But this will be temporary. If you look at the underlying fundamental economics, the overcapacity remains, so what you will see is that the rates will go back to the same low base rates that we saw last year.”

Manders said the economics could not be escaped and overcapacity was here to stay.
“There will always be moments when rates will spike — before China’s ‘Golden Week’ in October or in the weeks before Chinese New Year because of front loading to get the goods out of the factories. But beyond Chinese New Year, the prices should go down,” he said.

This view was supported by Lars Jensen, CEO and partner at SeaIntelligence Consulting, who wrote in his blog that the lingering effects of the Hanjin collapse and the associated “flight to safety” from some shippers might underpin rates, but this did not sustainably change the supply-demand dynamics.

“That being said, it is entirely plausible that rate levels in the beginning of 2017 will show marked improvements over 2016, but that is because the start of 2016 had rate levels hitting absurdly low levels on the back of a very low oil price and a dysfunctional price-setting mechanism among the carriers,” he said.

Jensen also believes the phase-in of the Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance from April carries with it a high risk of a price war, and said it was inevitable the new alliances would want to assert their positions in the key markets.

Accompanying the rise in spot market rates in the run up to the new year was an increase of Chinese manufacturing. Factory production in December expanded at the fastest pace in nearly six years, according to the Caixin China general manufacturing PMI.

Some expect the sustained increases in container shipping rates through the fourth quarter will not be sustainable throughout 2017.

Supported by a solid increase in total new orders, companies raised their purchasing activity at a quicker rate than in November. December recorded a PMI of 51.9, the strongest reading since January 2013. Anything over 50 is regarded as expansion.

Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, said the sub- indices for factory output and new orders both hit multi-year highs, and those for input costs and output charges continued to rise rapidly, underlining sustained inflationary pressure.

“The Chinese manufacturing economy continued to improve in December, with the majority of sub-indices looking optimistic,” he said. “However, it is still to be seen if the stabilization of the economy is consolidated due to uncertainties in whether restocking and consumer price rises can be sustainable.”

The Caixin China report on general manufacturing is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 500 manufacturing companies. It is a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the mainland manufacturing economy.

Contact Greg Knowler at greg.knowler@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.

Nov 19

Panama Canal Backlog Update 2015-11-19

| Nov 18, 2015 3:33PM EST JOC

The vessel backlog that’s plagued the Panama Canal since mid-October remains above normal levels, but canal authority officials say wait times are now diminishing since they started taking steps to expedite traffic through the waterway.

The number of vessels awaiting transit has been reduced significantly over the past month, according to data from AIS Live, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS. On Wednesday there were 10 vessels in transit and 16 vessels at anchor: 12 on the Atlantic and four on the Pacific side. That’s down considerably since the prior two weeks when AIS Live data showed at least 20 vessels at anchor on either side of the canal.

According to canal authority officials, the recent delays are largely the result of an influx of larger-than-average vessels, unseasonably high traffic to the U.S. West Coast and weather conditions related to the El Nino drought. Measures meant to expedite traffic have been cutting down wait times, they said, even if the backlog remains higher than average. The Panama Canal Authority didn’t respond to JOC.com queries on when the backlog was expected to end.

The canal authority on Monday announced plans to increase its efforts to crackdown on the congestion. As of Friday, the canal authority said, only six slots — instead of the eight typically available — will be offered to regular vessels with beams under 91 feet. The just-in-time transit service will also be limited to one vessel in each direction for super and regular vessels.

A suspension on booking slots for vessels less than 300 feet in length was instituted, but has since been lifted and the number of slots for those vessels has returned to normal, the canal authority said.

The latest measures come just a week after the canal authority postponed all non-critical maintenance work at canal locks, modified its booking system, canceled draft restrictions and assigned additional crews to operate tugs, locomotives and locks.

“We are working hard to improve the situation and are making steady progress, but it is slow,” Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano said in a statement last week. “And we will do more to address the issue as quickly as possible for our valued customers.”

The congestion began to mount last month, according to freight forwarder OEC Group.

“Beginning in mid-October, the Panama Canal began experiencing congestion issues on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides,” freight forwarder OEC Group said in a message to customers in early November.

Cosco told customers last week that a number of vessels have been delayed or otherwise impacted by the congestion. Two weeks ago, the carrier announced one ship, the Cosco Auckland, faced a 10-day delay. Last week, the Cosco Boston faces a similar nine-day delay.

Meanwhile, CMA CGM has announced plans to cancel its Manhattan Bridge Service to the Port of New York-New Jersey and Virginia for the Nov. 4 sailing of the vessel Amalthea on its Vespucci service rotation “due to operational issues resulting from delays in transiting the Panama Canal.”

But it’s not just vessel delays that are plaguing the canal, currently undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion project. The project is expected to be completed by April, but some of the newly installed locks have begun to leak and repairs will be more extensive than previously indicated, authorities have said, leaving the date for their completion uncertain.

The expanded canal will allow container ships capable of carrying more than 11,000 20-foot-equivalent units to transit the waterway, more than twice the vessel size that can pass through the existing locks.

Quijano has assured shipping leaders that the canal’s new, larger locks should open on schedule. The nation’s foreign ministry already has sent invitations to some 70 heads of state for the opening ceremony.

Despite some claims from shippers and carriers alike that repairs to the newly constructed canal locks that are now leaking water were behind the delays, the canal authority said last week that was not the case.

“The greater demand is attributed, in part, to traffic diverted from the U.S. West Coast and a higher-than-normal volume of ships that require additional security measures, such as tankers and gas carriers,” the authority said in a statement.

The canal faced a similar backlog in March and April that was pegged to the lingering effects of U.S. West Coast port congestion tied to slowdowns during protracted contract negotiations between theInternational Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers.

The canal has additionally seen a higher percentage of large and deep-draft vessels, which also affects transit time, the authority said.

Weather has also been a factor, the authority said. Various reports have cited adverse weather conditions in the area as El Nino has reduced rainfall and lowered the water levels of the Gatun and Alhajuela lakes, which feed water to the canal’s locks. The canal authority in September announced plans to restrict the size of vessel drafts passing through the waterway for the first time since 1998, but the restrictions were suspended after some rainfall helped raise water levels.

Fog, too, has played a part, the authority said. “In the month of October alone, fog delayed 107 vessels.”

Despite so many factors out of the authority’s control, Quijano said his team will continue to tackle the congestion.

“We have taken, and will continue to implement, measures to speed traffic and reduce wait times,” Quijano said.

Contact Reynolds Hutchins at reynolds.hutchins@ihs.com and follow him on Twitter: @Hutchins_JOC.

 

Jul 09

Detailed article about LA-LB current port conditions

(from JOC.com)

Trucker turn times in Los Angeles-Long Beach are back to where they were in the spring of 2014 before the ports were crippled by labor slowdowns, but industry analyst Val Noronha is giving terminal operators in the largest U.S. port complex a grade of only D-minus.

“An argument can really be made that it should be an F,” said Noronha, president of Digital Geographic Research Corp., who has been analyzing truck turn times for the past five years using GPS technology.

Using the Metris index that Noronha developed to track truck turn times at the 13 container terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach, the ports are back to where they were in late 2012 during the Office Clerical Union strike. The entire port complex, including the port authorities, the terminal operators and the drayage industry should not be satisfied with those results, he said Tuesday.

The past year was one of the most difficult ever for the Southern California ports. Terminal congestion began to increase in the spring of 2014 because of intermodal rail service issues, a severe chassis dislocation problem and an onslaught of mega-ships that created surges of 5,000 to more than 10,000 container moves per vessel call — more than at any other U.S. port.

Port conditions deteriorated beginning in November when the International Longshore and Warehouse Union slashed the daily dispatching of skilled yard crane operators by two-thirds and the Pacific Maritime Association retaliated by slashing night and weekend work. The index bottomed out below 30 during the strife.

These conditions, which were tied to negotiations for a coastwide labor contract, continued until a tentative agreement was reached on Feb. 20. It took the ports an additional three months to dig out of the backlogs of vessels at anchorage and containers stored on the docks, but by the end of May the ports were back to normal.

Noronha’s index hit 40 last month, which was an 11-month high and indicates that the labor issues are now history. However, a Metris reading of 40 is troubling to Noronha because he said an acceptable level should be about 50, and ideally for a port complex the size of Los Angeles-Long Beach, it should be 60 or higher to  maintain consistent operational efficiency.

The Metris index measures truck turn times at marine terminals in a range from zero to 100. Zero would be worse than a third-world situation in which trucks show up at a port and are stuck there for days. On the other end of the scale, Noronha said Busan, South Korea, advertises 10-minute turn times, which would put it in the high 90s.

Since he has been measuring turn times in Southern California, the ports topped out at 64 in January 2011, Noronha said. Most truck turn times then were less than one hour for a single transaction and there were few outliers of two-hour turn times or greater.

Since then, container volumes increased steadily, ships got much larger, carriers expanded their presence in alliances, which cause logistical problems for the terminals, carriers stopped providing chassis to the truckers and container surges of 5,000 or more became commonplace because carriers in their Pacific Southwest services discharge and reload 80 to 90 percent of each vessel in Los Angeles-Long Beach.

The lengthy period of ILWU slowdowns and employer retaliation that began in November was an anomaly that should not be repeated during the remaining four years of the five-year contract that was ratified by the ILWU and the PMA in late May. Also, container growth has returned. The container volume in Los Angeles-Long Beach in March through May was up 7 percent over the same three-month period last year, according to PMA figures.

Therefore, the ports are back to where they should be in terms of labor productivity and container traffic, but the fact that the Metris index in June was only at 40, rather than at 60 or higher, indicates to Noronha that the ports are crying out for significant operational changes to improve gate productivity.

The port authorities are certainly taking bold steps to improve productivity, he said. A neutral chassis pool was launched on March 1, which has brought stability to the new chassis regime that is managed by the three largest chassis-leasing companies. The ports have unveiled a “peel off” program that block-stores containers that will be pulled by a single trucking company, which is improving turn times at the terminal where it has been tested. The ports have also identified near-dock sites where inbound containers can be drayed to as soon as they are discharged from the vessels, which should improve terminal fluidity.

Noronha said those measures are positive, but are producing only incremental gains. His research has identified specific times of the day when turn times regularly exceed two hours, and he said immediate action is needed to eliminate those roadblocks.

For example, many terminals shut down for the hour-long lunch break. Noronha said lunch breaks must be staggered so the gates remain open continuously throughout the day. “You don’t land a plane in St. Louis because the pilot has to eat lunch,” he said.

The worst time of the day in Los Angeles-Long Beach is the hour when the day shift ends at 5 p.m. and the night shift begins at 6 p.m. Under the PierPass extended gates program, a traffic mitigation fee is charged during the day shift to encourage more traffic during the night shift, when no fee is charged. Truckers queue up for an hour or longer at that time of day to wait for the fee-free night shift to begin. Noronha suggested changing the PierPass fee in a way that will make it unnecessary to queue up for an hour or longer.

These and other soft changes in operations at the ports would not be costly, at least compared to building more infrastructure, and can be implemented immediately. When those measures run their course due to continued growth in traffic, more costly steps such as implementing terminal automation and enhanced technology, or keeping terminals operating continuously round the clock will be needed, he said.

The ports are spending in total about $6 billion in infrastructure development in the coming years, but sitting back and waiting for these capital projects to be completed is not the answer to the immediate problem, Noronha said. “The evidence is very clear that this is not an infrastructure issue,” he said.

If the ports and terminal operators would study the Metris index from its beginnings until today, they would agree that a reading of 40 is totally unacceptable, Noronha said. “We need to believe that we should at least be in the 50 range or higher,” he said.

Apr 15

LGB Port Backlog Report 2015-4-15

Here is the today’s report from our Long Beach office on the port backlog:

“There are still vessel waiting but situation is somewhat improved.  It is taking an average of 13 days to get from off-load to rail.   (However, the dwell time can be much longer.) They do not expect normalcy until perhaps June.”

Sep 26

GTM Customs Compliance and Cloud Delivery Systems

Managing customs and compliance processes is a complex task, even for the most well-run of supply chains. From product development through to import or export, today’s managers have to account for so many variables, both inside and outside of their organizations.

There are, of course, global trade management (GTM) tools to help manage this complexity. But the landscape of systems designed to integrate customs and compliance tasks into the broader supply chain can add yet another layer of complexity. Deciding which system is best suited to a particular organization can be daunting, especially in light of emergent delivery methods for software solutions, such as cloud-based applications.

Another crucial aspect to consider is the extent to which a global trade management solution integrates with a shipper’s existing systems. There is a prevalent notion in the market that shippers want to merge supply chain functions into fewer systems. This report is designed to delve deeper into these key areas, particularly how shippers and third party logistics providers see supply chain convergence and cloud affecting their GTM strategies and technology buying decisions.

Data contained in this survey was drawn from the responses of 170 global trade practitioners between May 19, 2014 and June 27, 2014. Respondents were asked up to 31 questions about their GTM strategies, technology usage, and investment plans, as well as their attitudes toward cloud-based solutions and supply chain convergence.  Click to continue reading